The key to California’s successful business environment are education and infrastructure. It is not an accident that our semiconductor and computer and Internet industries, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical and genetic engineering and our other world-class competitive industries
developed in California instead of in “low
tax” states like Mississippi and Alabama. These industries thrived here because of our well-educated people and our modern, well-maintained infrastructure.
There has been a dramatic wealth-building return on our investment in education and infrastructure. Investors could count on California as a good place to start and grow a business, and it has paid off.
But how much would it cost if businesses had to pay fair market value for use of the infrastructure that We, the People
built? What would it cost if companies had to pay the full education cost every time they hire someone who was educated
at a California public school or state college or university?
What would it cost if companies had to pay to be provided with police and fire protection? Should companies pay a fee to have the police investigate, catch the perpetrators,
and then put them through the criminal justice system?
What would it cost if companies had to pay fair value to use our roads and air- and seaports.
What would it cost if companies had to pay for
access to the legal system that We, the People set up. We passed the
laws and paid for the courts. We set up the entire legal structure.
We, the People pay to regulate (and apparently bail out) the banking and financial
system. What would it cost if businesses had to pay us for setting up this system that (used to) keeps our money sound?
This is what government and taxes are for. We, the People built
up California’s comprehensive physical, legal, cultural, education and societal infrastructure.
Businesses rely on that infrastructure, and we want them to thrive.
This benefits us all. Many, many people became wealthy by betting on
California as a great place to do business, and we are proud of that.
Now it is tome to give something back.
and maintaining that infrastructure does cost money, and that is where
taxes come in. For several years California has been cutting
taxes and cutting back on our investment in education and
infrastructure. Businesses cannot continue to thrive as they have if
we continue along this path. We have reached a point where the
tax-cutting has brought our state’s education spending to the
second-lowest per-pupil of all the states! We have been and are
deferring maintenance on roads and other infrastructure. We are
cutting back on all essential services and we still have a $40 billion
Our companies are getting a good deal. If we
charged fees that were based on the actual value of the service that
the infrastructure provides
businesses would have to pay much, much more than any level of
increased taxes companies and wealthy individuals might be asked to pay
to help California meet the budget shortfall. The businesses and
individuals who thrived because of the infrastructure we built need to contribute to the future by agreeing to pay taxes to help invest in rebuilding that infrastructure.
payoff is clear. As I wrote above, there is a reason that Silicon
Valley and genetic engineering and other wealth-creating industries
developed in states like California and Massachusetts instead of “low
tax” states like Mississippi and Alabama.